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SunnyFirsties 10-16-2018 02:58 AM

Bathroom Use Problems with 1st grade
My class is having so many problems with the bathroom
This year. They ALL always have to go. Itís not unusual for 5+ kids to walk up to me at once and all say itís an emergency. Itís also not uncommon for another teacher to come back to me and say they were playing in the bathroom. The solution to this seems obvious.

Now on the other hand some of these same kids are having accidents in my classroom. I canít deny them the bathroom when they say they have to go NOW, because they already have a history of accidents. My policy is supposed to be one boy and one girl at a time, but this is where accidents are happening.

Iíve tried reaching out to parents and it hasnít been helpful. The general response has been ďjust let him/her use the bathroomĒ, but then I have admin at my school upset that my kids are regularly caught playing in the bathroom and hallway. There is also no available adult to chaperone my kids to the bathroom outside of our scheduled class bathroom time.

Itís my fourth year in first grade and Iíve never seen this problem like this before.

Mikhail 10-16-2018 01:50 PM

interesting problem

My policy is supposed to be one boy and one girl at a time, but this is where accidents are happening.
You mean that the accidents are happening inside your classroom? So that means that the students who are out of your room have been taking a long time to get back. These students are taking advantage. Could you somehow let them know of a consequence for abusing this privilege? Like, if they been out for at least 5 minutes then you take 5 minutes of their recess/nutrition/playground time. The bottom line is they're being selfish by making others wait their turn when they're out for a long time.

cheerio 10-16-2018 02:13 PM

If 5+ kids are asking at once I'd be tempted to line the whole class up and take everyone. Maybe they will stop asking all at once if they realize the whole class and teacher are coming with them every time.
As for wasting class time doing this I'd maybe bring flash cards or something you could do quickly and quietly with the rest of the class as you waited. I'm wondering if you did this a few times if the novelty of everyone asking all at once would stop? Just a thought.

apple annie 10-16-2018 11:30 PM

Stick to your procedure! I have second grade, same rule. One Kid at a time, to prevent them from playing in the bathroom. I also say they have a two minute time limit. I don't actually time them, but they know to hurry up. If I have to go looking for you, it's gonna cost you!

If that many kids are legitimately having to go to the bathroom, maybe you need to add another whole class bathroom time. I find that students usually think of going to the bathroom when they hear another kid ask, so my general policy is that only the first kid to ask goes. The others are all copy cats, and I put them off by saying something like, "Wait til we finish this workbook page," or whatever. Usually they forget. If they really need to go, they will ask again, and then I'm more likely to believe them.

Marcee 11-09-2018 06:39 PM

Take the entire class. For them to be having accidents, there must be a certain time when they all have to go. Just plan it into your day and take something for them to do while they wait: Flash cards, a quiet game of Simon Says, etc.
I noticed awhile back that most kids have to go about 40 minutes after lunch, so I scheduled that time for a break.

MissESL 11-10-2018 05:25 AM

First Grade
I agree that it’s time to take back the potty break! If your kids are playing around, they can’t be trusted to be responsible for independent bathroom breaks. Let them know this, and state that there will be several times a day everyone will march down to the bathrooms together. No one will be needing to go in between, because you’ll have soooo many chances! It eats into instruction but is worth it for the end result.

I suggest adding several class breaks to your day. Slowly eliminate them until you’re down to the big three. You’ll kind of “train” them over time.

I always found my big three to be first thing when they arrive in the morning, after lunch, and after recess. Plain old drink breaks also occurred after PE.

My rule was also one at a time. I think they would think that saying “emergency” meant I would automatically let them go.

A second personal rule they didn’t know I had was to let them go if they asked me twice in, say, five minutes. If they were just asking to go play, they would forget after I said no. If they really had to go, they would ask again.

Also, you do learn their bathroom habits, you know? I would know the kid who always had to poop around 1:30. Or the kid who cane in the room dancing from having to go so bad every morning. Since they always ask at the same time, you do get to where you know who is serious and who isn’t!

I never had anyone have accidents, except for a child who had some sort of paralysis in his bowels, so he didn’t feel it at all.

theapple 11-13-2018 05:54 PM

I agree with if the students are playing around, then take back their time. That is only if they are truly playing around. I won't take their time if they go over a limit. Some kids need a little more time.

If there are multiple needing to go at the same time, then take the whole class, even though it might be an inconvenience. In the long run, it might be better for you that way. I do the same rule--1 boy and 1 girl at a time when in class. But, I will make exceptions.

I agree with MissESL. Try to make mental notes about which ones seem to have to truly go at the same time every day. I have one of my students that needs to poop around 2:00 most days and is not shy about telling me. He is not a behavior problem and I know I can trust him if I have to let another boy out while he is in the bathroom. I also know which ones can't wait even 2 minutes once they ask to go, so they can go whether or not someone is out of the room. And you will get to know if they truly need to go or not.

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